Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Day 69 - Tuesday, July 31

(Dirt Diva's Report)
I slack packed today with 10 other hikers. I ran it in 4:45 and inspired 3 others to run. They did it in 5:30. Kurt rolled in today. He hiked up Mt Lassen. I think I'm going to hike with Juggs, Erik the Black (in picture) & Bear Cat. They want to hike with me for a bit. Looks like there will be 12 of us rolling out tomorrow. Off to bed to get a good night's sleep so I'm ready for tomorrow.
There is not much cell reception up here so I can't send many pictures for my blog. :(

Monday, July 30, 2007

Days 67-68 - Sun-Mon, July 29-30

(Dirt Diva's Report)
Here is the view of Mt Lassen (10,457') in the distance as I left Hwy 36. I left The Corrupter on Sunday. His ankle was sore and he wanted to do less mileage. I got lost on Monday and ended up on the highway doing an extra 6 miles. Oh well , it's all about the journey, right? ; )
Here I am passing along the foot of Mt Lassen I didn't have to climb higher than 6700'.

I'm in Old Station (mile 1380) at the Heitman's on Monday evening. They are awesome trail Angels with a really cool house. Dennis & Georgie Heitman provide food and drinks for the hikers and put on breakfast and dinner. They even have a tree house that I'm going to hopefully sleep in tonight. There are about 13 PCTers hanging out here.

I'm going to head out for a short run. A bunch of hikers slack-packed to Burney yesterday and got a ride back here today. I might run that section backwards and get a ride back to the trailhead. Not sure though - might as well since I'm not doing a speed record. I really do miss running. I will decide tomorrow.

That's all for now.
Dirt Diva

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Days 65-66 - Fri-Sat, July 27-28

Days 65-66 (Dirt Diva's report)
The Corrupter & I headed into Chester. It took us less than 5 minutes to hitch a ride from a really nice older couple. To tell you the truth, they were very conservative and me holding a sign - tattooed and dirty, I would of never thought they would pick us up. It's mostly 30-40 something's that pick me up not people over 70. Anyway they were very nice.

We didn't think we would get a room because I called from Belden and all the Motels were booked. It seems Chuck Norris' daughter was getting married. I thought why here? But later found out her mother is from here. We stayed at the Best Western it was very nice. It had a bath tub. I love soaking in the bathtub. It felt great.
Kurt(Corrupter) ate a whole large pizza last night. I had some French fries and rice dream(vanilla) - yummy.
We are heading to Old Station, should arrive Monday.
Jerry my trail Angel sent me a new sleeping pad since mine got a hole :(

I texted my friend Randy yesterday and it was good to hear back from him. My brother called me yesterday so I need to call him back. Talked to Jo Lynn who left me a surprise note near Mt. Shasta and talked to Antonia who is running the San Francisco marathon today.
I hope all of you are healthy and well. Make sure you take time out today to tell someone you love them.
I want you all to know I read my blog every chance I get and even though I don't respond to all of you I appreciate all the comments. They really lift my spirits on dark days which are very few out here. So keep them coming.
I love all of you. Back on the trail see ya.
Dirt Diva

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Days 62-65 - Tues-Fri, July 24-27

Leaving Sierra City, I had a 2800' climb to about 7000'. I pushed my pace and mileage on Monday and Tuesday to catch the group of thru-hikers who had left the day before me. I caught a group of three including Kurt the Corrupter. We decided to hook up again.

We made it to Belden (mile 1289). The Deacon had called me on Monday to say it looked like a haven for drug addicts and drug dealers. Wow, I had to agree with him. It is a pretty scary place! There are no activities going on. I had booked cabin 13 for the night but when we got there, it was dilapidated and covered in cobwebs. We went into the town store and most of the food was expired. We decided to not stay there and went on down to stay at the trail angels place, the Braatens.
My health is good and I haven't had any problems with my feet. Jerry sent new Hardrock shoes to Belden. Got to say Hardrocks and Dirty Girl gaiters are the best!

Darn, my thermarest sleeping pad has a leak so it goes flat during the night. I called Jerry on Thursday to get me a new one and send it to Old Station so I can pick it up on Monday.

As we leave Belden, we have a 5000' climb. Woo Hoo, on Friday we reached the halfway point near Hwy 36.

We are going off trail about 10 miles to Chester to get internet access.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Day 61 - Monday, July 23

Sierra City is mile 1197 on the PCT. I am heading out to Belden (mile 1289) and the final 92 miles of the Central Calif section. Four days is the longest I've been off trail since I started but it was great to see so many friends. I have to say my legs are sore from using different muscles in the 50 mile race. Several groups of thru-hikers have passed through in the last four days. A group of them went out at Tahoe to visit Reno.

Jerry drove me to the trailhead. He and Rocky went up the trail with me for about a half mile before the rocks on the trail got to be too much for Rocky. I kissed and hugged Rocky goodbye for a long time. As I started up the trail I was crying and yelling back to my weenie boy how much I'm going to miss him. I feel like just going home with Rocky. It's going to be a long day hiking alone, thinking about him. :°-(
"Love is when your dog licks your face even when you've left him alone all day" (or in my case for 2 months!)

Days 55-60 - Tues-Sun, July 17-22

Life is good! (Dirt Diva's report)
I have just been cruising along the PCT alone for the past two days. I met up near Donner summit with my
ultrarunning friends, Jack Driver
and his girlfriend, Rebekka and Kathy D'Onofrio. Jack and Kathy were talking about their upcoming hundred mile race, Tahoe Rim 100m.

On Monday I had hiked 34 miles and was thinking about my friend Julia who was going to be running the hundred miler. I really miss her. I thought all day "wouldn't it be crazy if I showed up and surprised her, and at the same time I could run the 50 mile race". Jack told me the race was sold out but he texted me Dave the RD's number. I called on Tuesday and he said I could get in.
I was excited…but a little nervous since these legs haven't really run more than 4 miles at a time and that's been downhill and a shuffle, not really a run. Hmmm, can my body do it?? Figured I would find out!
I called Fast Jerry since he was already coming up to pace Julia. I asked him if he could bring my dog, Rocky when he came and he said yes. So it was all set.
My friend, Alikona from Sacramento would meet me in Sierra City on Thursday and drive me to Kathy's in Truckee and Friday I would sign up in Carson City for the race at the race check-in and surprise Julia.
One problem - on Wednesday I thought it was Thursday and ended up a day early to Sierra City. That was ok since the weather was cloudy and rainy. There were about 10 thru-hikers here and it was fun meeting new people. They thought I was crazy for even wanting to run 50 miles after hiking 1200 miles. We figured I would become the first PCT thru-hiker to run an ultra in the middle of the hike. ;-)

On Thursday, Alikona came out and we had a fun day shopping and hanging out. We got to play with some baby goats - aren't they cute! I stayed at Kathy's and went to Carson City to surprise Julia on Friday.

Here I am with my friends Joe, Mylinh, & Julia
(all 3 ran & finished TRT 100m)

I ran the race Saturday and Fast Jerry was at the finish with Rocky who I was SO HAPPY to see. I was hoping just to finish the race in under the cut off time of 16½ hours. But to my surprise I did great - 13 hours. I proved even on no training, my mind can carry me through.
I was able to catch Julia - the hundred mile runners started an hour ahead of the 50m/50k runners. So we got to run together for nearly 20 miles and catch up on our lives. Near the end I decided to leave her and haul butt to pass a few girls in front of me and get Julia's crew ready for her.

On Sunday afternoon, I am in Sierra City with Jerry & Rocky and will hit the trail tomorrow. I'm sad that I won't see my friends for at least 1½ months. I'm happy I took a little break to reconnect with the ultrarunning community that I love so much. I feel recharged and ready to keep moving forward to Canada.
BTW - In case anyone is wondering. I am no longer going for a speed record. I think some people didn't realize that I decided that - for now I am all about the experience and loving this beautiful trail.

"Life's a journey, not a destination" Steven Tyler

Day 54 - Monday, July 16

I wanted to get an earlier start today. Jerry was going to run the 24 miles back to his car on the PCT but couldn't run downhill on his ankle. He decided to hike directly down the mountain to Sugar Pine and then try to hitch a ride on Hwy 89.

I left after Abacus for my trek to Donner Pass. I passed through Granite Chief Wilderness near Squaw Valley with some more incredible views and flowers. These pictures need no descriptions!

I saw this little spruce branch arrow laying on the ground, pointing the way north. This was natural, just the way it fell off a tree.
Today, I saw Ashley Idema, who won Angeles Crest last year in 2nd fastest time ever with her husband Josh (PCT'02) and their dog Mattie. They are here from Corvallis, OR hiking the TRT for a few days.
After hiking along Hwy 89 for 5 miles, Jerry got a ride to his car from Griffin, a spell caster/ Worlock/ magician with full dreadlocks and a wolf named North. He was willig to take any ride since it saved hiking 8 miles on his ankle.

Day 53 - Sunday, July 15

I told Jerry that we could take a taxi to the Echo Lake trailhead but found out it cost $3 per mile and it's about 40 miles - $120, no way! So Jerry decided to drive me to Echo Lake, return up Hwy 89 about 15 miles and run in from Talloc trailhead. He would run 6.4 files and intersect with me after about 10 miles along the PCT. I finally got on the trail at 9:30 AM.
It all went well except he had overlooked that his route took him on a 3000' climb from lake level over 9735' MT Talloc peak. After 2 miles of running, he saw this granite peak and decided there must be a better way. The alternative was a route down to Fallen Leaf Lake where the big Tahoe fire had been but it added 2.5 miles and came in about a mile before our meeting point. He was concerned that we might miss meeting so he took off on the climb. Running down the west side toward Gilmore Lake, he landed on a loose rock, rolled his right ankle and went down. He was sitting along the PCT about a half mile before our meeting point when I arrived with his shoe and sock off. He didn't want to desert me so I convinced him to go on for a while and see how his ankle fared.

In the morning I ran into Rena Schuman and her husband out for a 4 day backpack on the TRT.

Later, we met my friend, Flora. She is doing the same triple I did last year but in reverse so she was heading back to Echo Lake and then would be starting the Tahoe-to-Yosemite section. She decided to do it now since she is starting grad school at UC Berkeley in the Fall.
We hiked up Dick's Pass (9380'). A t the top, we stopped for some lunch and to let Jerry put a snow pack on his swollen ankle.

This is a beautiful section of trail with seven small lakes visible in addition to Lake Tahoe.

We hiked 18 miles from our meeting point and stopped for the night at Richardson Lake. There were about half dozen tents set up along the lake. As we set up camp, a thru-hiker, Abacus showed up and we invited him to share our area. He was from Minnesota and got laid off from his job so decided do the PCT. He has the two-person Tarptent. Jerry went down to the lake to soak his ankle and had a garter snake swim across his foot in the lake trying to make dinner of the many small frogs swimming around the shoreline. I bought Aqua Mira in Tahoe City to treat water and we definitely needed it for the lake water. We swapped stories while we ate dinner. I shared my brown rice tortillas with Jerry for his hummus. He complained that they tasted like paper. In the near-darkness he didn't notice that the tortilla I had given him had a paper separator attached which he was eating with the tortilla. Abacus and I had a good laugh at him when he realized it. After taking off the paper, he said it tasted pretty good! ;-)
Jerry and I talked for awhile in our sleeping bags laying under the stars. I look extra cute with my mosquito hood and it works pretty well to keep off the bugs since I'm not using my tent. He said he was changing my trail name - DD now stood for "Ditch Diva" since I have ditched so many guys along the trail. LOL!
I did 28 miles today and am at mile 1124.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Day 52 - Saturday, July 14

Had the whole day to wander around town and check out stores. Looked at clothes in the Thrift Shop and bought a Von Dutch shirt for $1 and a Abercrombie & Fitch demin skirt for $2. I've lost enough weight that I can fit in a size 2 skirt. I will wear these while I do my laundry.

Had time to catch up on my online accounts and some time to lay by the pool to get some sun.

I read my horoscope for today that is mailed to me each day.
Dear catra, Here is your horoscope for Saturday, July 14:
Delays only strengthen your resolve to get this accomplished. The stars applaud your determination, but they point out that a pause might actually benefit your efforts in the long run. Slowing down has a purpose now.
Now is that too weird? Sounds like I am supposed to take this break. LOL!
When Jerry arrived about 5 PM, I scheduled a massage and then used his laptop to look at e-mail & MySpace. We had dinner at my favorite restaurant, the Blue Agave. We planned out my next resupply points. I definitely need more than I originally planned.
Sleeping in a bed two nights in a row seems strange to me. I'm ready to get back to my home on the trail and sleep under the stars.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Days 48-51 Tues - July 10- Fri, July 13

Me and Kurt left Tuolumne midday and did 13 miles on Monday. On Tuesday I met these three guys fly fishing. They offered to show me how but being a vegan, I said I couldn't harm fish. They said they catch and release so the fish don't get hurt. On Wednesday, we hiked by a lot of lakes in this section. We climbed through Sierra Crest Ridge and the highest point after Donohue pass at 10,880'. I was hiking ahead and having to wait 30-60 mins for Kurt to catch up. He seemed moody and didn't seem to want to talk about it. On Wednesday, I ran into a large female bear who stood up on her hind legs and growled at me. Kurt was just catching up so he got to see her. Let's see now - try to look large and non-threatening and don't run away. Whew, fortunately she left and we figured that she was just letting us know this is her home and we are just visitors. I didn't get my camera or phone out, so no pictures of the bear. :-(

On Thursday, I wanted to push my pace so rather than wait for Kurt, I left a note to him that I wasn't going to wait any more. I did 34 miles and and went about 5 miles past Sonora pass to a campground I knew about from my triple last year. On Friday I got to Ebbets Pass and Highway 4. The only problem was I was out of food and down to only two bars. There was no way I could do the 44 miles to Echo Lake in Tahoe without food. I met a day hiker coming into Ebbets Pass and he gave me a ride to Tahoe. I left the trail at mile 1049.9.

I decided to go to Tahoe City to stay the night. I figured I could go back to Ebbets Pass and continue to Echo Lake but found out that because of the Death Ride starting in South lake Tahoe that Hwy 89 and Ebbets Pass would be closed to traffic on Saturday so I couldn't get back to the trail. If I waited to restart on Sunday I would not get to Echo Lake in time to meet Jerry as planned. I decided to just call Jerry to come up early on Saturday and start from Echo Lake on Sunday morning. I'll finish the PCT and then come back to do the 44 miles later.

I spent Friday afternoon getting supplies, getting cleaned up and just relaxing. I bought this water purifier, AquaMira that has chlorine and phosphoric acid drops so I can use it on the lake water in this section.
I thought about this being Friday the 13th and guessed it was bad luck for me. Oh well!

Friday, July 13, 2007

Day 47 - Monday, July 9

We are sleeping without a tent most nights. I love my western mountaineering sleeping bag. It is the best bag I've ever had. I got my new Atalanta Inspiration skirt. It is so cute - black with a pink stripe down the side! Jerry brought me some different Dirty Girl gaiters to wear with my new skirt. He also brought me a swim suit so I can hike in it when it gets really hot ;-)

Trying to pack enough food to get me through the next 7 days to Tahoe. There won't be any place to get supplies. My food bag just keeps getting heavier and I have to carry this sucker. Well, at least it will get lighter as I eat the food.

Here we are having some breakfast and reading the Rolling Stone and Ultrarunner magazines that Jerry brought along while we wait for the Tuolumne store and Post office to open.

Kurt and Lucid Moose finally went to the store to get supplies. We decided to wait until Noon to start on the trail. Jerry and Antonia couldn't wait because they had to drive home today so they took off for a 18 mile run along the trail. We should see them on their way back. They plan to go see the beautiful waterfalls at Glen Aulin.

Isn't my little hiking pal, Wild Things Max, cute? He sneaked into my Muir Trail Ranch resupply and will be keeping me company on the trail.

Day 46 - Sunday, July 8

Aaron, the Corrupter, and I left Reds Meadow on Saturday morning. I'm already feeling better since I've started taking my meds. Aaron went about 8 miles with us then turned around to run back to Reds Meadow to get his car and drive around to Tuolumne. He will run out tomorrow to meet us. We made it to Clark Lakes trail to set up camp for the night at mile 920. Check out this crazy cloud pattern over Donohue Peak!

On Sunday we passed over Donohue Pass (11,056'), the last pass over 11,000' between here and the end.

We met Jerry coming down the north side of Donohue. He had run up from Tuolumne. He brought my friend Antonia up to see me but she was a couple of miles back. She had run Wendell and Sarah's Angel Island 50K yesterday so was taking it easy. We got to the bottom of the pass and started our 8-mile hike through Lyell Canyon along the Lyell Fork of the Tuolumne River. It's beautiful meadow land which the Corrupter doesn't really like since it makes his feet ache hiking the long flat sections.We are meeting or passing several day-hiker groups. One group is doing a summit of nearby Mt Lyell. We finally met Antonia and Aaron after a few miles. She has had some health problems since the 24-hour race last October that we were at together. Good to see her back to running!
We met Sean and his sister Stephanie who were out doing a butterfly survey in the canyon.

Finally arrived at Tuolumne and went to the grill to get some fries - yeah, did they taste good. Jerry had met a thru-hiker couple, Medicine Man & his wife, Stamp Lady from the Seattle area. We talked with them about their trip. They were pretty much just "hiking home".

Jerry had rented us camp site 33 (remember, my number ;-) for the night so we headed over to set up camp. Jerry and Antonia had brought lots of fruit for us (watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, mango, cherries, grapes) and Antonia had prepared several raw food dishes for me. She has been a raw foodist for several months which has helped her improve her health. She made some arugula pesto and sprouted lentil hummus plus lots more which were yummy. Thanks Antonia, you're awesome!

Lucid Moose showed up and is sharing our dinner and campsite for the night. After dinner we went to a talk at the campfire on bats in Yosemite. Later, Kurt and I crawled into our sleeping bag and talked with Antonia to catch up with her life since going raw and some about the Whole Foods crew.

As we snuggled in to sleep, I thought - it was a good day. My bladder problem is gone. My stomach is full of good food and had a nice visit with good friends. We are at mile 941.

Friday, July 6, 2007

Day 44 - Friday, July 6

Ok, here I am sitting in the Loon bean in Mammoth. Hanging with Kurt the corrupter. There is a whole bunch of us PCTers here - Lucid Moose, Cole, Gesh, Junk food, Tea Tree, Squash, Tourist, Loon, Swan and Bear.
There are more but I can't remember who.

We went for Mexican food at Rubios last night - it was awesome.

I have been peeing blood for 5 days on the trail. Yep, you guessed it a bladder infection. Silly me forgot to take my Cipro in my first aid kit. Made it to Mammoth and went to the clinic. The doctor couldn't believe I went 5 days with it. To be honest I had no choice. It really is the worst one I have ever had. I'm taking Cipro so it should be gone in three days.
We weren't going to take a zero day but since the other guys are, The Corrupter and I thought it would be best for me to drink tons of water and hang one day.

Aaron is supposed to meet up with us today at Reds Meadow. He is hiking into Tuolumne with us. He will be going for the unsupported speed record on the JMT later this month. I left a message for him so we will hook up at the trail head. Also, Jerry is meeting us Sunday and we were going to have to stall on the trail and do just 10 miles today. We are 35 miles from Tuolumne. I have to wait to get a package from the Post office Monday. So here we are.

I am having a blast with Kurt. I'm learning so much about hiking. This trail is way to hard to run with the amount of food and water you have to carry.
I thought it would be like doing the JMT fastpacking. WRONG...I'm learning through-hiking a long trail is tough. The only way you can really run it is by having a crew.
I have been running down the passes which is fun. I have great respect for long distance hiking and the people that do it. I am proud to say I'm a through-hiker and I am now one of them just moving forward each day. We are all just trying to get to Canada. Yes, some of us like moving faster but we are all doing the same thing.
We are all one big family out on the trail. I am happy to be only going 22-28 mile days through the beautiful Sierras. I am seeing things I have never seen before when I have run through the area.

I want to thank all of you who are following my journey. I read the blog when I can and it makes me smile. I really love all of you.
That's all for now. I hope I get to see some of you on the trail. Hey, if you want to come out and hike with me, that would be great.
Dirt Diva
Team Dirt